We all know that Facebook is one of the powerful companies in the world. But do you know that it was neither the first nor the best social media network when it started? At the time of launching Facebook, there was already a powerful social media network that existed with more than 1 million users and it was one of the websites that were recognized to be the most visited. But Facebook managed to start from scratch and beat its competitors, making history to be one of the best networks in the world. So let’s see the strategy of Facebook to gain such a huge success.
As an entrepreneur, we start everything with an idea and plan but then, when we start doing a bit of research on the market we will recognize that there will be one huge competitor that performs the same way we have planned. When finding it, we get demotivated and find it hopeless to carry out our work, because as you are performing a similar job of your competitor who is already successful in the market, you will end up being not exposed. But do you know that this competitor is the one who will provide the golden opportunity to build up your business? This is how FB got its golden opportunity from its giant competitor to reach this height.
Myspace Vs Facebook
Myspace is a social media network that was launched in 2003, and at that time, it held similar features to the current facebook we use today. It helped people to connect with each other and find new friends. Within one year it was able to create a sensation as it made more than 1 million years within one month and by the end of the year, more than 5 million users signed in Myspace. It became the largest social networking site in the world and it became the first social network to reach a global audience.
And in 2005, it got purchased for $580 million by a gigantic media company called News Corporation which is among the few companies that realized the capacity of social media advertisements back at that time. After the purchase, it marked the beginning of the capitalist internet era. In 2006, it exceeded Google and became the most visited.
During this time, Facebook was a beginner handled by college students, and this website was open only to Ivy League students in the United States, having similar features of connecting with people and making friends. But within 4 years, Myspace reached 115 million users, and Facebook which was a college community website reached more than 1 billion users.
How did Facebook compete with its billion-dollar competitor?
How did two companies that implement the same features and things at the same time, have a vast difference in success?
There is a concept of social networks and human psychology that was implemented by Facebook. This is called the triadic closure which is when there is a connection between A and B and a connection between B and C, there are possibilities for a new connection between A and C. For example, when you get a friend request from a person who has 50 mutual friends, you easily tend to accept their request, and in contrast, if you get a friend request whom you personally know somehow, but has zero mutual friends, you will hesitate to accept their request.
Simply it is when two people have a friend in common, there is a chance of themselves becoming friends due to the speed of trust.
The difference between Myspace and Facebook was a simple feature. Myspace did not allow its users to use their real names as their usernames, so you cannot really tell with whom you are really chatting. But on the other hand, Facebook insisted to use their real names as usernames. This is because Mark Zuckerberg helped people to build up real connections through digital technology. And this became the initial and main factor for Facebook to become successful. The users did not only connect with their circle, but they expand their network to form connections beyond their social circles. So when FB opened itself to the public, people started signing up for it.
Why couldn’t Myspace beat Facebook?
Although Myspace features and uses were similar to Facebook it had so many protocols and procedures because news Corporation made Myspace into a proper corporate organization. More than their ideas and plans they were focusing on registering the profits and other procedures. So even if the company comes with a brilliant idea to beat its competitors, it had to pass so many steps to be finally implemented. Before implementing an idea, it was first examined by the lawyers, and then by the so-called experts, and it has to meet a series of meetings and discussions.
This made the process slow and even the idea of implementing the usage of real names for the usernames got delayed. When it finally the idea incorporated the features, it became 2008 and Facebook was already in the lead. Because Facebook was carried out by college students who had the freedom to add, change, modify and delete features overnight and they made major modifications with no procedures or protocols. When Myspace was debating on what is right and what is wrong, Facebook implemented what is right.
Facebook’s continuation is reaching its success
Myspace was a closed system that even blocked content from potential competitors. There was a most popular photo-sharing website called photo bucket at that time, but Myspace even block it.
Facebook was first used as a product before, but then on 24th May 2007, it launched its platform to provide a framework for software developers. It allowed them to create Apps to interact with the Core features of Facebook. For example, Spotify used Facebook API to allow users to share music directly within the Spotify app itself.
And Nike Run club used FB API, enabling the users to share their achievements with friends by posting directly to the Facebook news feed. Facebook allowed app developers the opportunity to make use of the platform and gave freedom to use that technology to build products and services of their own.
This is how Facebook was able to become successful. It used the factor of timing to reach its success. No matter whether you are an early mover or a late mover, the things you implement on time will give you the advantage. Even huge companies will make mistakes at a time, focus on it and learn from mistakes to implement a better version to reach your heights.
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